FAU Digital Tech Fellows Program

Be Part of Something Unique!

The Digital Tech Academy is FAU’s excellence program open to outstanding digital and innovative talents from all FAU degree programs and faculties! We impart all you need to follow your heart and passion for digitization, entrepreneurship and innovation. Work in interdisciplinary teams, get in touch with expert coaches and mentors, develop your own pristine and validated business model for your start-up and get integrated in our Digital Tech Fellows and start-up network & community.

Check out DTF Batch# 8 Movie!

FAU Digital Tech Fellows Batch 8

 

What are the benefits of the DTF Program?

Within a 12 weeks sprint, you will

  • learn the latest state-of-the-art innovation methods
  • work in interdisciplinary teams on your entrepreneurial challenge
  • choose either your own start-up idea or one of the highly enticing projects from the other participants
  • work with 20 other handpicked talents from FAU as well as participants from our partner companies and our international expert coaches and mentors from former Batches
  • widen your professional & personal network globally
  • receive an official FAU certificate upon successfull completion of the program

There is no place you can’t learn something for your start-up!

All these skills and networks we provide will distinguish you significantly from other founders and entrepreneurs in your later work-life.

  • We are really glad that we started our start-up journey in the FAU Digital Tech Fellows Program as we thoroughly learned to establish and validate a business model and could experience how we work best together as a team. Even now, the DTA and its network support us in our endeavors.

    Lucia, Felix & Sebastian
    Arfinity

  • The DTF program showed me many important aspects which were helpful when I founded my own start-up in 2019 such as that your customer is as important as your product. We should talk less about how innovative an idea is but start thinking harder about how a product addresses a certain customer need. Try to listen carefully and let your product grow with your customer base. Be flexible, you might end up heading in a different direction.

    Andreas Reichle
    HOREICH UG, CEO

  • The DTF program allows you to ‘live’ and practice the knowledge gathered about the topics of entrepreneurship, innovation, project, and financial management. Through practice and constant reflection, by the end of the program, I have felt fully equipped to try and start my own business. Although it is just a little dip into the world of entrepreneurship, it is a valuable and empowering experience worth going through ?

    Anna Kikesheva
    Netlight, Product & UX Consultant

  • The DTF program gave me a unique opportunity to push my boundaries – both personally and professionally. I got a chance to test a business idea and build a prototype, but also lead a team and carry out difficult conversations. The DTA team provided my team and myself with every kind of support that was required – tools, contacts, coaching… I am beyond grateful for that experience!

    Jonasz Staszek
    FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, AI Researcher

  • From our kickoff weekend to the first prototype and the final pitch — the DTF program was an awesome journey. The only way to learn more about how to start up, is to start up. And as an alumni, I am also happy to continue to be a part of the DTF network.

    Dr. Stefan Seegerer
    IQM Quantum Computers, Quantum Education Manager

 

What are the projects and objectives?

You can work either on your own start-up idea, join a start-up idea from another participant, or work on a project from our company partners – after the 12 weeks program you will have:
+ a validated Business Model
+ a validated Market Potential
+ a validated Financial Plan
+ defined / work in progress prototypes

What happens during this 12 weeks Sprint?

We will guide you though the end-to-end Business Design process and help you understand and figure out if you have the entrepreneur in YOU!

What happens in 12 weeks?

Kick-Off

Get to know your Digital Tech Fellows, choose your start-up idea and assemble your interdisciplinary team. After the Kick-off weekend you will be fully set-up to start your entrepreneurial journey with the DTA.

Discover

In order to understand the holistic impact of your choosen start-up idea, eight discovery areas are being researched, e.g. to understand the world of a potential client, research the competition, etc.

 

Market Analysis & Interview Techniques

In this workshop we dive deep into market and competitor analysis to create a great foundation for our future business model. On top of that we go through the best techniques and ways how to interview potential customers & users.

Design

Using the discovered insights, several new business ideas are developed, prioritized and first drafted into a value proposition followed by a complete business model. Then Hypothese & Experiments are defined to validate the choosen business model. For validation different prototypes such as landing pages, videos, and mock-ups are created. Besides that we will spend a whole weekend in a nice location together and have lot’s of FUN 🙂

Validate

Throughout the validation phase, which serves to verify our business model with the help of different experiments and prototypes, we check in with each other and use the first generated insights to define a lean version of our future offering.

Pitching

During the Pitching workshop we will cover the different types of pitches and learn how to best present our start-up idea.

Review

In the review workshop we take a trip down memory lane and review the whole process and our developments together. We discuss which next steps we will take to further validate our Business model.

Financial Modeling

The financial modeling workshop will teach you everything you need to know about investment planning, cost planning & price calculation. At the end you will have a clear picture what your product or service is worth and how to calculate the numbers.

Decide

The final Demo Day marks the official end of the program, where all team pitch their start-up ideas to a large audience and share their next steps and plans for the future with us. Afterwards it’s time for our award ceremony and most importantly time to celebrate our Digital Tech Fellows with the rest of our DTA Community.


We also have our DTA Start-ups from the previous batches coming and sharing their journey & advice with the upcoming entrepreneurs.


  • arfinity
    Lucia Grom-Baumgarten from our DTF B#3 Start-up arfinity sharing their journey since participating in the Digital Tech Fellows Program back in 2018. Arfinity brings Augmented Reality to the world of trade fairs by enabling completely new ways of product presentation and interaction,  which eventually offer significant value for all stakeholders at trade fairs. In an easy and cost-efficient configuration tool, exhibitors can create their own AR content and showcase a bigger portfolio in the form of true-to-original 3D-models during events.



  • Oculai

    Constantin & Tim from our Batch#6 Start-up Oculai joined us as mentors for Batch#8 during the Design Weekend and shared great insights on how to grow fast and what not to underestimate when going all in with your start-up. Oculai offers a solution for camera-based data collection on construction sites. Intelligent computer vision algorithms extract data on resource utilization, construction performance and construction progress from image material. This automates time-consuming documentation and reveals productivity deficits in individual processes at an early stage.


  • Libati
    Katrin & Doro from our Batch#4 Start-up Libati shared helpful validation advice with our Digital Tech Fellows. They show the different mock-ups and prototypes they started out with and how long it took to have their final app (which is of course always work-in-progress) today.Libati offers an App for the chronically ill people to discover new places more freely and independently. The user simply creates his personal trigger factors and preferences like stairs, pet hair etc. at the beginning and sees at a glance which locations around him/her are suitable and which are not. The input is based on the ratings of other users.


  • INVRTUAL
    Markus, Spyros and Michi from our DTF B#4 Start-up INVRTUAL shared their journey of starting a start-up next to studying with our fellows. Their Do’s & Don’ts when starting a business were really helpful for our Digital Tech Fellows.INVRTUAL’s mission is to redefine the way people collaborate in the virtual space. With our XR communication platform, we enable a variety of customer-centric applications ranging from virtual training to product presentation.


DTA Alumni Network Events

The DTA Alumni Network was founded in 2021 by Digital Tech Fellows from Batches #3-#7 and organizes regular on- and offline events to bring the continuously growing DTA community (150+ Fellows) together. Past events include: Metaverse – the new Normal? with FAU President Prof. Joachim Hornegger & Prof. Benedikt Morschheuer ; Do’s & Don’ts in Innovation with ITONICS CEO Christian Mühlroth & Online Event: How to rock your Linkedin Profile with Eva Wittenzellner from Linkedin

FAU StartUp Demo Day

The 1. FAU Start-up Demo Day took place in September 2022. The goal was to determine the FAU Start-up which will travel to the EELISA-wide European Start-up Demo Day in Pisa in December of 2022. We are super proud that our DTF B#8 Start-up Evolonic was selected as the winner. More info here

Franken Finance Festival

The yearly recurring Franken Finance Festival is a full day filled with talks and workshops on all forms of equity and dept financing opportunitites for your start-up endevaours. Of course also a great way to network with liked-minded entrepreneurship enthusiasts. Check out Franken Finance Festival 2022

HACK|BAY

The HACK| Bay is a 2 day hackathon organized by the Zollhof- Tech Incubator. Get together as a team, work on cool company challenges and most importantly have a great time and connect with others.

Digital Tech Summit

The Digital Tech Summit is another great hackathon & conference organized by our friends at Zollhof Tech-Incubator. Join a team and challenge by the corporate partners such as Adidas, Schäffler or Nürnberger Versicherung and spend 2 days with many other innovation enthusiasts and tech lovers. Fun fact: The last DTS took place at the Max-Morlock-Stadium of the 1.FC Nürnberg. Stay tuned for the next DTS. Check out the last DTA here

Ideator meets Co - Creator

Our Ideators meets Co-Creator event aimed to bring start-ups looking for employees together with people interested to gain some experience by working at a start-up. The event took place at the JOSEPHS – the open innovation lab and was super successfull with more than 20 start-ups and over 100 participants. Currently planning the next event. Stay tuned.

Silicon Valley School 2019

In March and September 0f 2019 we were able to take a trip to Silicon Valley together with other FAU students, employees & professors and company representatives and explore the innovation ecosystem there. We took trips to the Amazon Warehouse, Facebook, Google and also met a former Tesla manager, visited local start-up incubators and also learned from start-up founders ther!. 5 Digital Tech Fellows from B#3 and B#4 got a full paid scholarship for the trip. It was an amazing experience!

Shenzen Fall School 2019

The Shenzen Fall School took place in September of 2019 and also aimed to connect FAU students, employees, professors and company representative with our partners from the Peking University Shenzen Graduate School. It was an amazing trip.

Community Events & Sports

Our regular Digital Tech Academy Community events serve to bring our great community of Digital Tech Fellows together and have fun, such as during our Christmas parties, the Erlanger Bergkirchweih and many other opportunities. Of course meeting for sports activites is just as much fun, for example at the Ninja Warrior Gym or for a Yoga session 🙂

 

On top of that you will get a complete overview of FAU’s great innovation ecosystem!

How do I apply?

   This was DTF Batch #9! Do you want to be part of the next one? DTF B#10 will start in April

Application for DTF B#11 will start in October 2024

 

Please find here the full program and schedule of Batch #10: 

Name of the Event

Date Venue Time
Kick-off Weekend 19.04.2024 – 21.04.2024 D.hip 9 am to 5 pm
DTA Community Event 20.04.2024 D.hip 5-9pm (optional)
 Interview Workshop 24.04.2024 Online 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm
Design Workshop 01.05.2024 – 03.05.2024 Forschungscampus

Waischenfeld

(Transportation & Accomodation included)

9 am to 5 pm
Validate Workshop 17.05.2024 D.hip 9 am to 5 pm
DTA goes BERG 17.05.2024 Bergkirchweih Erlangen 6pm (optional)
Getting Things Done Night 07.06. – 08.06.2024 D.hip 5pm-3pm (optional)
Review and Pitching Workshop 14.06.2024 D.hip 9 am to 5 pm
Financial Modelling Workshop 27.06.2024 Online 5 pm to 8 pm
Final Demo Day 12.07.2024 D.hip 9 am to 5 pm
DTA Celebration 12.07.2024 D.hip 5-10pm